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A Middlesex-based national care home operator, MNS Care PLC, has been prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for exposing residents to a risk of being scalded, and for using potentially unsafe lifting equipment at their Hanbury Court Care Home in Dagenham.

On investigation, in March 2013, it was discovered that thermostatic mixing valves had not been fitted to limit the shower and bath water temperatures to between 41°C and 44°C as required by law.

Worse still, the one thermometer that was available was broken.

There were also problems with the care homes lifting slings – of the 14 slings in place, over half of them had not been inspected in the past six months.  The inspectors found a sling that had previously been condemned still in use and a further three slings unfit for purpose.

Vicky Fletcher from HSE says, “Fortunately in this case no one was injured as a result of MNS Care’s failure to take adequate safety precautions, but all too often these types of failures have tragic consequences.

On further investigation it was highlighted that staff had not received proper training on pre-use checks of the slings to ensure they were fit for purpose – using this equipment to hoist someone carries huge risks and can have fatal consequences if the equipment isn’t in proper working order.

MNS Care were fined a total of £30,000 and ordered to pay £880 in costs.

Need some help?

Acorn Health and Safety offer a Foundation Level Manual Handling course aimed at support staff whose main role is the handling of people and are designed specifically for the workplace service provider be it residential, nursing or home based.

We also offer a Manual Handling Refresher course.

Guidance from the HSE for Health and Safety in Care Homes can be found here.

Read the original article from this story from the HSE here